Macquarie researchers are once again helping solve global challenges through research. Professor Karu Esselle who leads our Electromagnetic and Antenna Engineering research team – the largest in Australia – recently travelled overseas to present the team’s innovative medical antenna research at the flagship conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.
The team has identified solutions for one of the main challenges of wireless medical devices – the unnecessary and undesirable dissipation of radio-frequency (RF) energy in the human body, which can cause health and safety concerns for the wearer and significantly reduce the quality and data rate of the wireless link.
To stop this RF energy and heat dissipation in the user, Macquarie researchers have developed innovative antennas with conducting shields.
“Unlike these new antennas, conventional antennas in these devices do not have and cannot support a metal shield between the device and the body,” says Professor Esselle.
Following this conference, Professor Esselle presented Macquarie research breakthroughs on electromagnetic band gap resonator antennas, which are currently the subject of an international patent application.
“These inventions led to more aesthetically appealing, high-performance planar antennas that can be integrated into building architecture and concealed better than unsightly ‘dish’ antennas in urban and suburban environments,” explains Professor Esselle.
The team plans further collaborations in the future, including testing millimetre-wave antennas and devices designed for the next generation 5G mobile phones and Wi-Gig (that will replace Wifi).